Hackettstown, N.J. Schools Locked Down for 3 Hours Amid Report of Gunman

Children were held inside and parents were advised not to go to the schools.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Schools in Hackettstown, N.J., were locked down Monday after a man called authorities and said he had a rifle near the high school. Police later said the threat turned out to be unfounded. Brian Thompson reports. (Published Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012)

    Schools in Hackettstown, N.J., were locked down for more than three hours Monday after a report of a man with a gun in the area.

    The lockdown was lifted by 2 p.m. after police determined the threat was "unfounded," according to the district's website. 

    Area schools went on alert at about 10 a.m., shortly after a man called the Warren County Communications Center and said he was armed with an assault rifle in the woods near a high school, police and school officials said.

    Students were kept inside while police canvassed the area and parents were urged not to come to the schools.

    Ron DiRienzo, 17, told NBC New York that he and other students were herded into the corners of a classroom while the lights were turned out and blinds pulled down. Some kids had to urinate into bottles because they were locked down for so long, he said.

    Throughout the town, residents were worried.

    "Everybody was scared," said Galo Yoza.

    Local law enforcement gave the all clear at about 2 p.m., according to a notice on the district's online announcement page.

    "The nature of the threat is a matter of an ongoing investigation," the message read.

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